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52 things to do in Vancouver this spring

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Daniel Chai Mar 21, 2017 8:27 am 5,480

Spring is here and fun events and activities are blooming all over the city and beyond. From hiking to farmers markets, Easter to Earth Day, here are a ton of Vancouver spring events you need to check out.

Explore the great outdoors

grouse-grind

Hiking/Shutterstock

The Grouse Grind

  • What: Mother Nature’s Stairmaster, a gruelling climb up 2,830 steps on the side of Grouse Mountain. In less than 2.9km, the trail climbs more than 853m. Why do it? Well, the glory obviously. And the free entry to Grouse Mountain attractions at the top.
  • Where: Parking lot at the base of Grouse Mountain on the North Shore
  • When: Spring to fall depending on weather, check Grouse Mountain for conditions/opening.

The Stawamus Chief

  • What: Thought to be the second largest granite monolith in the world. Hike or rock climb your way to The Chief’s three peaks for spectacular views of Howe Sound and Garibaldi Provincial Park.
  • Where: Next to Shannon Falls off the Sea To Sky Highway, Squamish
  • When: Spring to fall, check BC Parks for conditions/opening

Sea To Sky Gondola

  • What: Hiking too hard? Take the Sea To Sky Gondola up to the instead. It will take you high above The Chief to more walking trails an amazing vistas – and you can enjoy a restaurant, suspension bridge and viewing decks too.
  • Where: 2 km south of Squamish off the Sea To Sky Highway
  • When: All year round

Stanley Park

  • What: Walk, run, bike, skateboard, rollerblade, swim, picnic – or even enjoy a horsedrawn carriage ride – in the gorgeous Stanley Park, our favourite Vancouver oasis of green. (Note bikes, boards and blades should always go around the park in an anti-clockwise direction!)
  • Where: Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: All year round

Capilano Suspension Bridge

  • What: A suspension bridge hanging 70 m above the Capilano River on the North Shore. Entry is $38 – but includes access to seven treetop footbridges and a Cliffwalk along a granite precipice overhanging the river – and BC residents get unlimited admission for one year after their first visit.
  • Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
  • When: All year round

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

  • What: The budget version of Capilano’s bridge, this suspension bridge stretches across a beautiful canyon, 50 m above raging waters and waterfalls. It may not be as high as Capilano but it’s certainly narrower – and it’s completely free.
  • Where: Lynn Canyon Park – 3663 Park Road, North Vancouver
  • When: All year round

Go for a run

Get fresh at farmers’ markets

farmers market

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Catch the last of the farmers markets at Hastings Park (Sundays 10 am to 2 pm until April 30) and Nat Bailey Stadium (Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm until April 22), then head to these spring sellers:

Downtown Farmers’ Market

  • What: This local food destination is situated on the corner of Georgia & Hamilton at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Shop fresh weekly to enjoy quality fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and poultry, baked goods, artisan food and craft, fresh fish, and local craft beer, wine and spirits.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Thursday from 11 am to 3 pm, June 1 to October 5

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market

  • What: Tempt yourself with a myriad of vegetables, meat, cheese, seafood and music in Kitsilano.
  • Where: Parking lot of Kits Community Centre – 2690 Larch Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday, 10 am – 2 pm, May 7 to October 22

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

  • What: The market where it all began. Come meet your friends and neighbours, pick up supplies for a picnic by the lake, or just rub shoulders with farmers who care about the future of the land as much as the food they put on your plate.
  • Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday, 9 am – 2 pm, May 6 to October 21

West End Farmers’ Market

  • What: Located in the heart of Vancouver’s West End, this laid-back Saturday market looks onto beautiful Nelson Park and adjacent community gardens. Take the dog for a walk and enjoy the best in local produce, prepared foods and crafts.
  • Where: West End Farmers Market – 1100 Comox Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm, May 27 to October 21

Main Street Station Farmers’ Market

  • What: Located just steps from the Skytrain, this convenient Wednesday farmers’ market is ideal for local food fans seeking an easy shop on their commute. Over 85% of the vendors at Main Street Station are primary producers offering an excellent mix of fresh and organic produce, meat, eggs, handmade cheeses, and more.
  • Where: Main Street Station – 1100 Station Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Wednesday from 2 to 6 pm, May 31 to October 4

Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market

  • What: You’ll find familiar faces like Applebarn Pumpkin Farm, Blue Comet Seafoods and Goldwing as well as new ones like Honest Food Farms, Rai Produce and Urban Digs Farm. You won’t have to elbow your way through lines to get at the cauliflower and there’s plenty of adjacent street parking. It’s also only a couple blocks from the 99 B-line.
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm, May 28 to October 8

Riley Park Farmers’ Market

  • What: Tempt yourself with a myriad of vegetables, meat, cheese, seafood and music in Riley Park neighbourhood.
  • Where: Riley Park – 50 East 30th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, June 24 to October 7

River District Farmers’ Market

  • What: This one-of-a-kind market is the only riverfront market in Vancouver. Come shop for fruits and vegetables, prepared foods, and handmade products produced by farmers and artisans. Stay for live music, a delicious meal and enjoy the waterfront, playground and pier.
  • Where: Kerr Street Plaza – 8683 Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, May 13 to October 14

Ambleside Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Ambleside Farmers’ Market has a wide selection of organic and conventional produce. Prepared food vendors include baking, jams, honey, syrups, salsas and much more. The Ambleside Market has a games table, kids play area, and live music.
  • Where: Ambleside Farmers Market – 1500 block of Bellevue Street, West Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, May 8 to October 30

Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market has a great selection of conventional and organic produce. You also will find local artisans with jewellery, pottery, photography, kids clothing, soaps & much more. The market also has a book exchange, newspaper reading area, and live music.
  • Where: East Plaza of the Lonsdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm, May 7 to October 29

Easter fun

Easter

BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock

Easter at the Cannery

  • What: The Easter Salmon makes its annual return this year to hide eggs for the little ones to find throughout the historic cannery. At 10:30 am, The Great Salmon “Egg” Hunt will start and repeat every 30 minutes throughout the day with the last egg hunt at 4:30 pm. There will also be Easter crafts, games and an interactive story-time suitable for kids ages 2 to 12 years old.
  • Where: The Cannery – 12138 4th Avenue, Richmond
  • When: April 14 to 16

Easter Brunch at Grouse Mountain

  • What: Enjoy a buffet brunch featuring delicious options for all ages. There will also be face painting and an exciting Easter Egg Hunt led by the Easter Bunny
  • Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
  • When: April 16

Stanley Park Railway Easter Train

  • What: Hop on the Stanley Park Train for an egg-citing Easter ride through Stanley Park. Other fun activities include mini golf, an Easter Egg hunt, meeting the Easter Bunny, and planting a posy
  • Where: Stanley Park
  • When: April 13 to 17

Fairmont Vancouver Easter Afternoon Tea

  • What: Celebrate Easter in style with a two-day Easter themed Afternoon Tea featuring Fairmont’s fine tea blends, alongside savoury and sweet creations from the hotel’s in-house pastry shop. If the tiny tot wants to tag along, Fairmont offer Children’s Easter Tea, which includes kid-friendly tea sandwiches, scones, and delicious sweets.
  • Where: Fairmont Vancouver – 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • When: April 15 and 16

VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt

  • What: Take part in the 9th Annual A-Maze-ing Egg Hunt at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Afterwards, enjoy some fun crafts and activities or check out the yummy food selections and explore the beauty in our 55 acre garden.
  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • When: April 15 and 16

Easter Celebration at Wesbrook Village

  • What: Celebrate Easter in style at Wesbrook Village, with an Easter egg scavenger hunt, little bunnies friendly walk and run, plus a meet and greet with a life-sized Easter bunny
  • Where: Wesbrook Village Welcome Centre – 3378 Wesbrook Mall, UBC
  • When: April 8

Celebrate a Happy Mother’s Day

Mother's Day

Syda Productions / Shutterstock

Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks

  • What: Vancouver Whitecaps’ United Soccer League affiliate faces off against the Switchbacks.
  • Where: Doug Mitchelle Thunderbird Sports Centre – 2555 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver
  • When: May 14 at 3 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $13

Alaria’s Fiddle

  • What: Alaria’s Fiddle is a full-length musical theatre performance developed by the Smithers-based Valley Youth Fiddlers in collaboration with master fiddlers from across Canada. Alaria’s Fiddle is a fictional tale about a young girl who lives with her mother on an isolated lighthouse on the west coast of Canada.
  • Where: BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts – 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver
  • When: May 14 at 7 pm
  • Tickets: At the door, $10-$15

Artisan Market: Mother’s Day

  • What: The scenic setting of Lonsdale Quay is a perfect place to pickup something special for mom or to take her on Mother’s Day.
  • Where: East Plaza of the Lonsdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
  • When: May 14 from 10 am to 3 pm
  • Cost: Free

Mother’s Day Brunch

  • What: Treat your mother to a delicious Brunch Buffet at Langley Golf and Banquet Centre. Situated in a beautiful parkland setting, the venue is an ideal location for a memorable celebration.
  • Where: Langley Golf and Banquet Centre – 21550-44th Ave, Langley
  • When: May 14 at 10 am and 12:30 pm

Circle Game

  • What: The enduring music of Joni Mitchell is re-imagined in this energetic musical experience. Circle Game reinterprets Mitchell’s iconic songs such as “Big Yellow Taxi”, “River”, “California” and “A Case of You” through the ears and eyes of a new generation, connecting them to the politics and world we know today.
  • Where: Firehall Arts Centre – 280 East Cordova Street, Vancouver
  • When: April 29 to May 20
  • Tickets: Online, $12-$28

And also celebrate a Happy Father’s Day

Father's Day

A and N photography / Shutterstock

Burnaby Central Railway: Miniature Train Rides

  • What: The longest miniature railway in Canada, with more than 3 km of track, and 11 steam, diesel and electric trains.
  • Where: Hastings Park Centregrounds – 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday, Sunday and Stat Holiday from 11 am to 5 pm, April 14 to October 9
  • Cost: $3.50 per single ride ticket, $30 for 10 passes

Greek Bouzouki Night

  • What: Celebrate Greek music – and Greek snacks – in the heart of Vancouver’s Greek neighbourhood. Featuring George Yioldassis (Yiorgos), a Greek bouzouki player who has collaborated with many local musicians, played at many Greek Day festivals, participated in music lectures / performances and continues to promote traditional Greek bouzouki rembetiki and laiki music in an enchanting acoustic instrumental landscape.
  • Where: Simpatico Restaurant – 2222 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: June 18 at 6 pm
  • Cost: Free admission

Lafarge Lake Annual Free Fishing Day

  • What: A free family-friendly day of fishy fun and prizes during BC’s free fishing weekend – when anglers can fish BC’s waters without a licence. The Lake is stocked for the day and volunteers are available to teach fishing techniques.
  • Where: Lafarge Lake – Town Centre Park, Coquitlam
  • When: June 18
  • Cost: Free

The Skints and Mike Love

  • What: Easy Star Records artists The Skints from London, England team-up with Hawaii’s reggae sensation Mike Love. Both bands are playing in support of their appearances at Victoria’s 18th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival the day before the concert.
  • Where: Rickshaw Theatre – 254 East Hastings, Vancouver
  • When: June 18 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $17.50-$22

Artisans in the Fort

  • What: An intimate shopping event for everyone in Fort Langley. Each vendor is one of BC’s amazing artisan community.
  • Where: Fort Langley Lions Seniors Hall – 23022-88 Avenue, Fort Langley
  • When: June 18 from 10 am to 5 pm
  • Admission: Free

Festivals

Vancouver-International-Childrens-Festival1

Image: Vancouver International Children’s Festival / Facebook

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

  • What: The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) is Vancouver’s signature springtime event, waking the city up from winter hibernation to an explosion of some 41,000 blossoming cherry trees. Originally gifted from Japan in the 1930’s, the cherry blossom now inspires a month of arts and cultural community events. Presented by Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation.
  • Where: Streets and venues all over Vancouver
  • When: March 30 to April 23

Abbotsford Bloom Tulip Festival

  • What: The Abbotsford Tulip Festival features 10 acres of tulips blooming in a brilliant display of colour! With over 35 varieties on display, the Festival is here to celebrate the start of spring and to promote agriculture in the Fraser Valley.
  • Where: 6737 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford
  • When: April 10 to May 7

Earth Day Vancouver 2017

  • What: Earth Day at Everett Crowley Park offers a wide range of free family-oriented fun including professional performers, music, dancing, cultural and ecological exhibits, and children’s activities. Help plant 1000 native mushrooms to help grow forest roots.
  • Where: Everett Crowley Park – 8200 Kerr St, Vancouver
  • When: April 22 from 11 am to 3 pm

DOXA Documentary Film Festival

  • What: Western Canada’s largest documentary film festival, featuring public screenings, panel discussions, public forums and educational programs.
  • Where: Venues across Vancouver
  • When: May 4 to 14

11th Annual Spot Prawn Festival

  • What: Each year at the Spot Prawn Festival, Chefs’ Table Society Member Chefs from across the Lower Mainland serve you fresh-from-the-boat Spot Prawns.
  • Where: False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf – 1505 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: May 13

European Festival

  • What: A weekend of cultural and culinary delights and rich entertainment. Get a taste of the great “Old Continent”, from German Pork Hog and Hungarian Goulash to Balkan Ćevapi and Turkish Kofte. Then admire authentic ethnic dress and get swept away by traditional dancing like the Portuguese Vira, the Spanish Flamenco and the Serbian Kolo.
  • Where: Swangard Stadium – 3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby
  • When: May 27 and 28

The Vancouver International Children’s Festival

  • What: The 40th annual Vancouver International Children’s Festival inspires young minds with top-notch professional artistic experiences, across theatre, music, dance, circus, puppetry and storytelling. The multi-disciplinary programming is always culturally diverse and representative of both local and international artists.
  • Where: Granville Island
  • When: May 29 to June 4

Velopalooza

  • What: Velopalooza promotes fun bike rides and events in Vancouver and surrounding areas. A big festival is held each June, with costumed rides, family rides, and the famous Bike Rave.
  • Where: The streets of Vancouver
  • When: June 9 to 25

Bard on the Beach

  • What: Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festivals. Presented in a magnificent setting on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Vanier Park, the Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas, and several special events in two performance tents from June through September.
  • Where: Vanier Park – 1695 Whyte Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: June 1 to September 23

Queer Arts Festival

  • What: An annual artist-run multi-disciplinary summer arts festival at the Roundhouse in Vancouver, BC. QAF produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. Each year, the festival theme ties together a curated visual art exhibition, performing arts series, workshops, artist talks, panels, and media art screenings.
  • Where: The Roundhouse – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
  • When: June 17 to 29

Concerts and comedy shows

show concert

Concert/Shutterstock

City and Colour

  • What: Canadian singer-song writer City and Colour is coming to BC for shows in Vancouver, Surrey, and Chilliwack this April. City and Colour has seven platinum-certified albums and three gold-certified albums in Canada. His latest studio release I Should Go Before Youhit number one on the Top 200 Soundscan, and it was his third consecutive chart topping album in the country.
  • When: April 6 (Vancouver), April 7 (Surrey) and April 8 (Chilliwack)
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street (Vancouver), Bell Centre for the Performing Arts – 6250 144 Street (Surrey), HUB International Theatre at Chilliwack Cultural Centre – 9201 Corbould Street (Chilliwack)
  • Tickets: Online, $50.50-$66

Western World

  • What: An improvised parody inspired by the popular TV series Westworld. Each night features a totally new ‘episode’ under the watchful eye and guiding mind of Robert (sometimes Roberta) Ford. Throughout the show, Guests help craft the storyline. In this artificial world of improvised comedy anything can, and will, happen.
  • Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. Opens April 6
  • Tickets: Online, $17-$23.50

Reggie Watts

  • What: Internationally renowned vocal artist/beatboxer/musician and comedian. Reggie Watts is on tour to support his new Netflix comedy special Spatial.
  • Where: Vogue Theatre – 1918 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: April 9 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $40

John Mayer

  • What: The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter returns to the city with his “Search for Everything World Tour”. John Mayer’s 2017 tour marks the first solo trek for the bluesy pop heartthrob since 2014. The tour starts off in North America before crossing the pond to Europe later this summer.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: April 19 at 7:30 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $39-$115

Drunk Magic with Wes Barker

  • What: Magician Wes Baker will hold a live podcast with comedians Simon King and Ivan Decker where the drinking will begin. After the podcast, both Simon and Ivan will do 15 minute sets followed by Wes performing a magic show where the audience will choose the tricks and the drinks.
  • Where: The Biltmore Cabaret – 2755 Prince Edward Street, Vancouver
  • When: April 30 at 7:30 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $20

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017

  • What: The iconic, Grammy-award winning band return for a select stadium tour this summer, and it all starts right here in Vancouver at BC Place. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the band’s classic album, The Joshua Tree, U2 will be performing the album in its entirety, with the support of a number of special bands. In Vancouver, their support is popular indie/folk rockers, Mumford & Sons.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: May 12 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $35-$280

Chris Hadfield’s Canada 150 Tour

  • What: Canada’s first spaceship commander, Colonel Chris Hadfield shares a selection of stories, images, songs and ideas that celebrate the 150th birthday of the nation he is so proud to call home.
  • Where: Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 12 at 8 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $25-$80

Ali Wong

  • What: With the recent release of her Netflix Special, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra, Ali became the first comedian to record a stand up special while seven months pregnant. Ali co-stars in the new ABC comedy American Housewife, premiering this fall.
  • Where: Vogue Theatre – 1918 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 25 to 27 at 7 pm and 9:30 pm
  • Tickets: Online, $39.75-$65

Mark Forward at the Comedy Mix

  • What: Mark Forward is a Canadian comedian and actor from Oakville, Ontario. He is the winner of the 2005 Canadian Comedy Award for Best Stand-up Newcomer. He also won the Homegrown Competition at the 2006 Just for Laughs festival. He has performed at the Halifax Comedy Festival, Just for Laughs, and has appeared in Mr. D, The Rocker, and Degrassi.
  • Where: the Comedy Mix – 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • When: June 1 to 3
  • Tickets: Online, $15-$20

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Daniel Chai
Daniel is a writer and comedian based in Vancouver, BC.

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